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Showing Up

One phrase I hear often in conversations about church gatherings is the phrase “showing up”:  people talk of the need to show up, the importance of showing up, just how a person shows up.  With the pandemic, we learned a whole new way of showing up that had not...

Welcoming Discomfort

In a recent meeting of those leading antiracist work in the church I presently serve, we were asked to reflect on how we “step into discomfort” in our lives.  The question has its roots in the recognition that in order to do antiracist work, specifically the part of...

An Absence of Signs

Perhaps because of the wonderful availability of GPS systems that can guide us to almost any destination, even give us options of routes that allow us to avoid road construction or tolls, we may fall into believing that no matter the course of our life journey, we...

Addiction and Racism

In my own work on recognizing unconscious racism, I see patterns of racist behavior that are strikingly similar to patterns of addictive behavior.  Which has me wondering whether racism might be a form of addiction, a particularly destructive and insidious form of...

Getting Back to Sin

The fundamentalist church of my childhood fed me a steady diet of sin.  Week after week, I heard in Sunday School lessons and sermons that all of us were sinful, hopelessly mired in evil, and nothing we did could make things better.  Though the church offered us the...

What the Pandemic Taught Us about Stillness

In the early days of the lockdown, I remember noticing how quiet the world had become.  Less traffic when I drove, less traffic noise on the streets outside my home, fewer sounds of people going by on the sidewalks because everyone separated as they drew near.  Across...

What the Pandemic Taught Us about Repentance

Many spiritual traditions include stories of natural disasters or unusual and overwhelming natural events as interventions by God to challenge humanity’s present ways of proceeding and call all to repentance. In such stories, repentance is less about being sorry for...

What the Pandemic Taught Us About Death

  Another insight we may eventually discover from our experience of the pandemic will come from the incomprehensible numbers of deaths, staggering figures of lives lost despite the care many of us took to follow safety guidelines, to wear masks and wash hands and...

What The Pandemic Taught Us About Bodies

With the race to be vaccinated underway, with many celebrating being able to resume a semblance of normality, with churches discussing how to reopen safely, we can perhaps begin to contemplate what the meaning of our pandemic experience has been, recognizing that such...

On Being a Word

Trappist monk Thomas Merton suggested that each of us is a particular word spoken by God, bringing a particular communication to the world as we live into that word through our lives.  What is the word you are living?  I have sometimes posed the question to my...